Friday, 11 May 2012

Life cycles and eggs

This week we look at life cycles of the different groups of vertebrates.  We worked through this section of our study very quickly since Tiger is familiar with the concept of life cycles, having done it before in his preschool years.

At the beginning of the lesson, I wanted to make sure that he knows what a life cycle mean, so I asked him to draw me that of a chicken:

To cement our knowledge of this topic, we read the following books.  We found a few interesting facts from them, especially on the growth of sharks and salmons:

Although we knew about life cycles and that animals change as they grow, especially amphibians, we have never seen a live birth.  Watching the following clips about live mammal births made us appreciate how miraclous the process is: (note: parental guidance needed for graphic content of birthing process)

The topic of birth brought us to consider why a hen sits on her eggs, and why her weight does not break the eggs.  Tiger did a quick experiment to verify the spread of pressure on the egg by holding it in his palm and trying his hardest to break it by squeezing the egg:
We also rolled the egg on the table to see whether it would roll in a steady, straight line.  When the egg rolled in a wobbly, roundabout way, we discussed what caused that to happen and how the shape of the egg helped the hen to protect it.
Finally, we cracked the egg to look inside.  Tiger identified the parts of the egg and their uses from the 3 levels of identification exercise (easy, medium, hard) , then examined a real egg and labeled the worksheet for review.
The hands-on exercises and observations found here are quite interesting so we did them as well.  Tiger felt the texture of the different parts of the raw egg, smelled it, and did the same with a hard boiled egg.
We ended the learning session at home with a few online egg-related games: 1) Which animal lay eggs? 2) Counting eggs 3) Egg jokes - page 1 and page 2 The most interesting part of the lesson was probably live handling of the different vertebrates.  Apart from the frog that we found in our garden, all the other animals (a chicken, a corn snake, a salamander, a rabbit, and a goldfish) came from an Environmental Education Centre that we went to for half a day's lesson on vertebrates, which became a revision session for Tiger since we have already covered all the concepts taught there.  Nonetheless, being able to handle the live animals was well worth the trip.
This post is linked up to several blog hops, where you can see what other homeschoolers have been busy with.  It is also linked to the Homeschooling Carnival: September 12, 2012 edition.


  1. It's great that you get to do some much in depth learning. So appropriate for a child who loves using his hands isn't it?

    Thank you for visiting earlier! I accidentally deleted the comment (so sorry!) and just wanted to wish you Happy Mom's Day too.

  2. This is a very nice study...happy moms day!

  3. What a great study! I'm pinning this to remember the videos you used for our upcoming science next year!

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!


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